Property 24/10 - 525

'Self certification vital' to unclog bottlenecks throttling SA's construction industry
Countries globally are increasingly turning to self certification to combat public sector bottlenecks resulting in both serious application backlogs and impeding the building process. South Africa urgently needs to do the same for an industry that was in rescue mode even before Covid-19.

For the first time in the history of South Africa’s Built Environment, 34 representative organisations came together during the height of the Covid-19 lockdown to form the Construction Covid-19 Rapid Response Task Team (CC19RRTT). While its most urgent concern was to reopen construction sites during Lockdown, it also collectively presented the Minister of National Public Works and Infrastructure, Patricia de Lille, with a Medium Term Plan for the Activation of the Industry post the Lockdown.

Highlighting the crucial bottlenecks that had to be tackled to enable the South African property development and construction sector to recovery nationally post pandemic, the plan also looks to save the sector from the collapse it was heading towards even before Covid-19 struck.

One of the key features of the plan is to convince authorities at all levels for the urgent need to allow self-certification, looking towards countries such as the UK, Australia and New Zealand that are already actively engaged in this process to untangle their own public sector blockages.

To buy or to sell first, which is the best option?
With current property market conditions leaning strongly in favour of buyers, sellers may wonder what the best approach is when selling their home to acquire a new property.

It’s the age old debate; do you sell first and then look for a property to buy, or do you buy first and then hope to sell your property quickly?

“There are pros and cons to consider for each option,” says Anita Griesel, Property Consultant at Jawitz Properties Durbanville. In an ideal world, once your home is sold, you will soon find somewhere new to live, buy your new home and everything will go smoothly.

However, in the real world and in the present property market, this is not always how things play out.If you choose to sell first, you’ll have cash in your pocket to buy again and you will have a clear indication as to what you can afford. When you find a new property to buy, you will be able to make an offer that is not subject to selling your property, and most sellers prefer an offer without any encumbrances.

Here's how to safeguard your short term rentals this holiday season
The holiday season is around the corner, and while many short-term rentals are concluded with a simple click of an online booking form, experts suggest including a lease agreement, with specific short-stay rules and codes of conduct.

A recent event at a Cape Town guesthouse sparked serious concerns for landlords in the business of offering short-term accommodation, particularly with regard to their ability to evict a non-paying tenant.

In this particular case, a number of people had rented a homestay (booked on Airbnb) and amidst much social media publicity, remained in occupation after the end of the agreed term.

There were many discussion around whether the Prevention of Illegal Evictions from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act, 19 of 1998 (“PIE”) would apply to a case like this, whether there is an obligation on a landlord to provide safe accommodation for people in need, and ultimately whether homestay rentals are still a safe and profitable business option for property owners.

Commercial property values to see '-7% drop', as office property tenants remain a dark horseCommercial property values to see '-7% drop', as office property tenants remain a dark horse
Third quarter 2020 results across the six major metros in South Africa for the FNB Property Broker Survey shows a slight perceived, post-lockdown strengthening in the Industrial and Retail Rental Market activity levels from the 2nd quarter, but a slight decline in Office Market activity level.

"However, they perceive all 3 major property sector activity levels to be still significantly below the pre-lockdown 1st quarter survey levels," says John Loos, Property Sector Strategist at FNB Commercial Property Finance.

The metros included in the survey were City of Joburg and Ekurhuleni (Greater Johannesburg), Tshwane, Ethekwini, City of Cape Town and Nelson Mandela Bay.

"Given FNB Commercial Property Finance’s strong focus on the “Owner-Serviced” market, a pre-requisite in selecting broker respondents is that they deal in owner-serviced properties, but a portion will also have dealings in the developer or investor markets as well as in the listed sector.

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